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Fastest PHL inflation in 14 years fuels rate rise bets

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The Philippines’ inflation quickened further in November on higher food costs, boosting the case for the central bank to continue its monetary tightening next week.

Consumer prices rose 8 percent from a year ago last month, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported Tuesday, faster than the 7.8 percent median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. That’s also the quickest since the 9.1 percent pace logged in November 2008, according to compiled data.

Price growth averaged 5.6 percent in the January-to-November period, way above the central bank’s 2 percent-4 percent target for 2022. Core inflation, which strips out volatile food and fuel items, rose 6.5 percent from a year ago last month.

Inflation was expected to peak this month after policymakers embarked on their most aggressive monetary tightening in two decades to curb price pressures and support the peso. Central bank Governor Felipe Medalla has flagged that the monetary authority’s board may be split between a 25- or 50-basis points key policy rate increase on Dec. 15. While the peso remains Southeast Asia’s worst performer this year, it has gained this quarter, along with most peers in the region.

Image credits: Taylor Weldman / Bloomberg News

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